Depending on your difficulty settings, you will have a varying amount of difficulty managing your expenses.
Most of the time, you will be running out of scrap. Your first option is to scrap any extra hardware that you don't need (i.e. extra drones, duplicate drone and ship upgrades). Most of the time, this will give you enough to make ends meet. If you cannot afford to repair that upgrade that you aren't willing to lose, simply don't use it for a mission or two until you can afford to repair it. Upgrades only take wear if they are used at least once while inside a derelict.
Every ship you can commandeer has a scrap capacity. This is the maximum amount of scrap that you can hold at any given time. If you commandeer a ship that has a low scrap capacity (20-40) you need to be extra careful to make sure you are not full. If your scrap capacity is full, any scrap gained will be lost. If you are running low on scrap capacity, repair a few upgrades, or refill some charges to get your total scrap below the maximum, by a little more than how much you expect to get on a mission (Salvage, and Barge derelicts usually have more scrap). You can also simply hold on to extra upgrades and drones as a sort of reserve that you can scrap if you ever need a bit extra.
Autotraders are essentially shops that sell upgrades and fuel. If there is an autotrader in your system, try to make an effort to visit it before you jump to the next system, as they are usually a valuable gamble.
Drone upgrades are sold for 3 scrap. Sometimes, you can buy upgrades that you haven't found yet. If the shop has any upgrades that you already have, check to see if theirs has less wear or more charges, you can swap them for free. the same goes with ship upgrades which are sold for 6 scrap.
Autotraders also sell both P-fuel, and J-fuel. You can also craft one J-fuel for 20 scrap. P-fuel is sold for 5 scrap, which is usually a bad value if there are no nearby salvage or barge derelicts. You might find yourself building up a lot more J-fuel than you need, this can be sold to autotraders for a whopping 15 scrap each.
Fuel is necessary for traveling between derelicts (P-fuel), and systems (J-fuel).
You have 3 fuel tanks:
- Main Fuel Tank
- Reserve Fuel Tank
- Jump Fuel Tank
The main fuel tank has a capacity that can range from 5 to 8 P-fuel (Your starting ship always has 6). This tank is replenished every time you jump to a different system or galaxy.
Any P-fuel that is scavenged from derelicts goes into your reserve fuel tank. Unlike the main tank, the amount of P-fuel in the reserve tank will not change when you expend J-fuel. Fuel will be expend from the reserve tank once the main tank is empty.
The jump fuel tank holds all of your J-fuel that is used to jump between systems and galaxies. This tank has no limit(?)
When planning your route through a system, make sure to pay attention to distance between derelicts. Some routes take less fuel than a different route through the same derelicts. If you only need a little bit of extra fuel to make a complete route, try to plan it to pass through a Fuel Depot, as these usual give 1 to 2 P-fuel and J-fuel. If extra J-fuel starts to build up, sell the excess to autotraders for scrap.